I shouldn’t have to tell you what day is coming up. Everybody knows Sept. 18 is National Cheeseburger Day.
If you’re anything like me, this holiday holds a patriotic place in your heart. Every year, I celebrate the red meat, white buns, and blue cheese that makes this day great. (I actually prefer cheddar, but that doesn’t fit the theme.)
On a personal note, here are my top three favorite cheeseburgers in Austin. If your favorite didn’t make the list, make sure you tell me about it in a comment. I’ll happily do the “research” required to amend my error.
1/ Jacoby’s Mercantile
Jacoby’s Mercantile is a farm fresh restaurant serving southern classics in a upscale rustic environment. Authentic to Austin, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, while taking the fancy up a notch. While Jacoby’s has many delicious items on the menu (I highly recommend the mac and cheese), I want to focus on the mouth-watering burger.
The restaurant exports all of its meat from a family farm out west, which makes the burger truly farm-to-table. I ordered my burger cooked medium, and I recommend you do the same. It was bursting with flavor. The bun seemed to be lightly toasted with butter, which added a pleasant crunch I wasn’t expecting.
Seventeen dollars gets you a filling half-pound burger, served with more fries than you would expect. The fries are hand-cut and delicious, but definitely the supporting act to the burger.
3235 E. Cesar Chavez St. – Website
2/ Ross’ Old Austin Cafe
Ross’ Old Austin Cafe is the place to go if you want a throwback cheeseburger. This place is as small town and old school as you can get in modern-day Austin. Ross is the name of the guy who started the business in 1993, and he’s still behind the counter today. His sons run the grills in the back.
Ross serves many homestyle foods like chicken fried steak and catfish, but I keep coming back for the cheeseburger. It isn’t high-end farm-to-table like Jacoby’s, but it isn’t some greasy and forgettable cut of meat either. Ross grills up old school burgers topped with the usuals, like onions and tomatoes. You can order fries that are always fresh and never frozen.
Oh, and definitely get a slice of pie when you’re finished with your cheeseburger.
11800 N. Lamar Blvd. – Yelp
3/ Top Notch
Alright, alright, alright. Time to talk about my favorite dive burger in Austin. Top Notch is another staple when it comes to burgers, and not just because “Dazed and Confused” made it famous. One cool thing I really appreciate about Top Notch is how it still functions as a drive-in. You can pull up, order, and eat in your car, while you pretend it’s still the 1950’s. There’s also an indoor dining area with tables, if you prefer.
Top Notch serves dive burgers in all the best ways. They come juicy and greasy, after being grilled above a piping hot charcoal flame. The traditional cheeseburger comes with the usual pickles, tomato, onions, and lettuce.
My go-to burger at Top Notch is the Longhorn Special: double meat, cheese, bacon, and special sauce. Be warned. It’s a mammoth burger, not for the faint of heart.
7525 Burnet Road – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which of these three Austin cheeseburgers is your favorite? Or did I miss your favorite? Let me know in a comment.